Venture capitalist Blake Masters—the Republican nominee in this year's Senate race in Arizona—was caught altering his campaign website to soften his position on abortion.
Earlier this week, Masters' website proclaimed he is "100% pro-life" and outlined his commitment to further restrict reproductive freedom. This was his stance while courting just Republican votes in the Arizona GOP primary.
A screenshot is provided below.
Blake Masters for Senate/blakemasters.com
But in an ad he posted to Twitter, Masters attacked Democratic Senator Mark Kelly—the incumbent—and sought to cast himself as a candidate who supports "commonsense regulation around abortion.”
In the ad, he claims to only support "a ban on very late-term and partial-birth abortion" saying such a position would put the United States "on par with other civilized nations.”
You can see the ad below.
NBC News later reported the Masters campaign changed or deleted parts of its website and one of the sections axed included a statement supporting “a federal personhood law (ideally a Constitutional amendment) that recognizes that unborn babies are human beings that may not be killed.”
Fetal personhood, which confers legal rights from conception, has been championed by anti-abortion advocates who want to classify the procedure as murder. Masters later toldThe Arizona Republic he believes a "personhood law" should only come into play when a person is in the third trimester of their pregnancy.
Masters' decision to alter his abortion stance comes as Republicans face significant pushback in the weeks since the United States Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that once protected a person's right to choose reproductive healthcare without excessive government restriction.
Nowhere was this more apparent in recent weeks than when Kansas voters secured a win for reproductive rights activists after voting to enshrine reproductive rights in the state constitution, the result of an effort to ensure the state—typically Republican and conservative—remains a safe haven for abortion in the Midwest.
Democrats including Pat Ryan, a Democratic county executive in New York’s Hudson Valley, also made gains in primaries around the country this week. Ryan fended off a Republican opponent by stressing his commitment to abortion rights in a closely watched race that has now ensured the district remains under Democratic control.
Eagle-eyed social media users quickly criticized Masters for his woefully transparent flip-flop on reproductive rights.
Masters rose to prominence through his association with German-American billionaire Peter Thiel, a conservative libertarian who has made substantial donations to American right-wing figures and causes.
Masters would be chosen by Thiel to work on the transition team for former Republican President Donald Trump. Trump endorsed Masters in a statement last month calling him "a great modern-day thinker" and "one of the most successful businessmen and investors in the Country."
Masters has generated controversy on the campaign trail for supporting baseless conspiracy theories, particularly the racist and antisemitic "Great Replacement" theory embraced by White nationalists that states White European populations and their descendants are being deliberately demographically and culturally replaced with non-European peoples.